An example for contextual purposes: "Smoking has become part of my routine, a [casual hiatus/break] to my day, if you will, rather than an addiction"

  • I don't like it as much as the other answers, but I'd like to add "respite" as a possible alternative, depending on additional context. – Reuben Dec 19 '11 at 6:43
  • Casual hiatus still sounds much better and dramatic to me. Depends on the context, though. – Kris Dec 19 '11 at 9:53
  • We're really trying to avoid using this site for "single word requests." If you have a particularly interesting problem to solve, all we ask is that you put a bit of effort and research into the question. See: meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/1654/… or meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/2160/… – Robert Cartaino Dec 19 '11 at 17:48

One of these might do the trick:

  • Intermission
  • Recess
  • Breather (not recommended when speaking about smoking)
  • Interlude
  • Gah! Got the "new answer loaded" message in the middle of clicking "Answer." – Gnawme Dec 19 '11 at 3:32
  • @Gnawme Well, sometimes, that's the way it goes. Once, I wrote out a really long answer, got that message, and the answer was essentially mine, but compacted. – user11550 Dec 19 '11 at 3:34
  • Yeah, and then you watch the other answer get twice as many votes... :-b – Gnawme Dec 19 '11 at 3:45
  • @Gnawme To be true! – user11550 Dec 19 '11 at 4:18
  • How about replacing the whole answer with 'You beat me to it, Maan by nn nanosecs.'? (only if it's the same thing in the two answers) – Kris Dec 19 '11 at 9:53

The most common word for this is the one you included in your example, "break".


How about intermission? Especially in the sense of "recess at school."

Smoking has become part of my routine, an intermission to my day, if you will, rather than an addiction.

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